Key West, the Florida Keys' southernmost island, is Florida's most expensive destination based on the cost of lodging.
That's according to a new survey from MiamiHotels.org that compared the hotel rates of various Floridian destinations. The high season for many beach destinations, January through March 2013 served as the basis of comparison.
In Key West, visitors had to spend, on average, $254 to stay overnight, and that was for the cheapest available 3-star hotel room. Ranking as the second and third most expensive locales in the state were Marco Island, located in the Gulf of Mexico close to Naples, and Palm Beach, the easternmost town in Florida. There, rates for the time period averaged $242 and $236 per night, respectively.
Marathon and Islamorada, two more destinations in the Florida Keys, landed inside the Top 10 as well. Downtown Miami ranked twelfth most expensive with an average price tag of $213 per night. That figure made the downtown area more expensive than both South Beach and Miami Beach, whose rates averaged below $200 at $179 and $143, respectively.
It bears pointing out that the survey is, strictly speaking, valid only for South and Central Florida. Because Northern Florida's high season tends to fall during the summer months, destinations like St. Augustine and Pensacola Beach didn't make it onto the list.
The following table shows the 10 most expensive destinations in Florida based on the average rate for the cheapest available double room (minimum: 3-star hotel) there for the time period spanning January–March 2013.
1. Key West $254
2. Marco Island $242
3. Palm Beach $236
4. Sanibel Island $235
5. Siesta Key $231
6. Marathon $230
7. Sarasota $229
8. Islamorada $226
9. Fort Myers Beach $221
10. Longboat Key $219